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Author Topic: Evolve: A case for modernization as the road to salvation  (Read 198 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jetavan
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« on: November 28, 2011, 05:11:34 PM »

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The apocalyptic vision of ecotheology warns that degrading nonhuman natures will undermine the basis for human civilization, but history has shown the opposite: the degradation of nonhuman environments has made us rich. We have become rather adept at transferring the wealth and diversity of nonhuman environments into human ones. The solution to the unintended consequences of modernity is, and has always been, more modernity—just as the solution to the unintended consequences of our technologies has always been more technology. The Y2K computer bug was fixed by better computer programming, not by going back to typewriters. The ozone-hole crisis was averted not by an end to air conditioning but rather by more advanced, less environmentally harmful technologies.

The question for humanity, then, is not whether humans and our civilizations will survive, but rather what kind of a planet we will inhabit. Would we like a planet with wild primates, old-growth forests, a living ocean, and modest rather than extreme temperature increases? Of course we would—virtually everybody would. Only continued modernization and technological innovation can make such a world possible.

Putting faith in modernization will require a new secular theology consistent with the reality of human creation and life on Earth, not with some imagined dystopia or utopia. It will require a worldview that sees technology as humane and sacred, rather than inhumane and profane. It will require replacing the antiquated notion that human development is antithetical to the preservation of nature with the view that modernization is the key to saving it. Let’s call this “modernization theology.”

Where ecotheology imagines that our ecological problems are the consequence of human violations of a separate “nature,” modernization theology views environmental problems as an inevitable part of life on Earth. Where the last generation of ecologists saw a natural harmony in Creation, the new ecologists see constant change. Where ecotheologians suggest that the unintended consequences of human development might be avoidable, proponents of modernization view them as inevitable, and positive as often as negative. And where the ecological elites see the powers of humankind as the enemy of Creation, the modernists acknowledge them as central to its salvation....
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